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How to stay plugged in on campus as a commuter student

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     A lot of people, myself included, commute to college every morning. My apartment is a good 30 minute drive with traffic from my university, and it can be hard to feel plugged in when you're not living next door to your classes. Here are a few ways to stay connected as a commuter student.

1. Study on campus

It can be very tempting to head straight home after your last class of the day, but resist the urge. I've found that staying on campus to study makes me focus more and I'm more likely to actually get work done. I've been working on a roster of great hidden study spots around campus that I cycle through when I get too bored. Knowing all the best nooks around campus can help you feel more apart of it.

2. Try and attend games when you can 

 My school doesn't have a football team, but basketball is really popular. Home games are a great way to rally behind your university, not just the team, even watching an intramural sport can get you excited about your campus. Some games happen in the early afternoon, meaning you wouldn't have to go home and come back. Games make an awesome date night because it's normally pretty cheap.

3. Read the student newspaper 

 Your student paper is a great resource to stay up to date on the university. Most of the time you can get hard copies of the paper for free around campus or follow your paper on social media and check out their website. Knowing the news
about your school keeps you in the loop on major events and policies happening around you. 

4. Attend events, at least the big ones

I'm not a big go out and do stuff kind of person #introvertstatus. But I do make a point of attending the really big events and traditions. Each fall my university has a huge mud volleyball tournament. I had to work that day last fall, but stopping by and hanging out to watch some friends was a lot of fun. Speaking of big events...

5. Go to homecoming

There's always this homecoming high that happens during the fall. Homecoming was one of the few events I attended last year and I had so much fun. They had free food from around the community and made a point of handing out tons of swag - like the 20 or so buttons pinned to my cork board. Homecoming is a great way to feel connected to your university as a commuter, even if it's late in the evening consider making a point of going.

6. Workout on campus

 I'm really bad about this one. I actually pay for a gym membership off campus that's closer to my house, but it's a really good tip for those wanting to workout before or after class. Your gym membership on campus should be free or at least very cheap for students. Pack a gym bag to leave on the car and drive over or pick it up after your last class of the day.

7. Get an on-campus job

This one might be a little harder if you live off campus and have to make a certain amount of money for rent and such. But if you have extra time look into finding an on campus job with the Rec center or student newspaper.

8. Make lunch dates on campus

I normally eat lunch in the newspaper office, but I always see people in the communal seating area eating lunches they brought from home. Meal plans or buying food can get really expensive. Scope out the shared microwaves around campus and meet friends after class to share lunch. 

9. Join some organizations

Look into the different organizations on campus that are interesting to your or relate to your major. There should be an activities fair each semester where you can see what your university has to offer. It's fine to ask when these groups meet. If you know you're not going to be on campus at eight p.m. for ultimate frisbee practice three nights a week, then it's probably not a good idea to sign up.

If you have any questions about what it's like to commute to campus then tweet me @that_cool_girl or email me at

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